Abellio Greater Anglia Wins 3 National Cycle Rail Awards
Abellio train operator Greater Anglia last night won three Cycle Rail Awards at this year's National Cycle Rail awards. The annual awards recognise those organisations and initiatives which promote and deliver cycle-rail improvements - especially cycle access to stations and sustainable door-to-door journeys. At the awards ceremony held at the House of Commons and opened by Transport Minister Stephen Hammond Greater Anglia won the following awards :
Best Customer Service
Partnership Working and Local Government Schemes (for Chelmsford Cycle Point)
Station of the Year for Chelmsford
In making the Customer Service award the judges praised Abellio Greater Anglia's positive cycling strategy and the fact that the approach is wide-ranging, ongoing and not just a one-off project. Initiatives such as the Cycle Point at Chelmsford, cycle hire schemes being introduced at 12 stations (including Norwich, Ipswich, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, Manningtree, Colchester, Southend, Ely, Bishops Stortford and Broxbourne) and increases in cycle parking at stations (with over 7000 spaces now in place across the Abellio Greater Anglia network, covering 88% of the company's stations) were all highlighted, as well as the company's customer-focused approach - above and beyond it's franchise commitments. A key player in the development of the strategy was Abellio Greater Anglia's Partnerships Manager Geraint Hughes.
For the Partnership Working and Local Government Schemes (for Chelmsford Cycle Point), the Chelmsford Cycle Point project was described as a "clear winner" and the judges praised Project Manager Jo O'Donnell and her team for doing "an incredible job in negotiating with partners and local government in order to make the project a reality, on time and on budget". The scheme also involved Essex County Council, Chelmsford City Council, Network Rail, the Department for Transport, Spence Contractors, Falco UK, YY Security and Cycles UK. It has created an industry-leading facility with almost 1000 cycle parking spaces, cycle hire facilities, a cycle shop, a secure compound and premium grade parking with unprecedented levels of cycle security (including fingerprint recognition and airlock type access), plus cycle servicing and private changing facilities.
For the Station of the Year award, the judges described the transformation at Chelmsford as the "best facilities, biggest step change and the stand-out winner" and praised the fact that the company had "gone above and beyond expectations with this project". With three grades of cycle parking, an increase in spaces (including 660 free spaces), cycle hire, cycle maintenance and a cycle shop on one convenient and well laid out site the scheme built on the experience of the first UK cycle point in Leeds to set a new benchmark for this kind of facility. The judges also described the partnership between Abellio Greater Anglia and Cycles UK as giving customers "a totally rounded cycle-rail experience".
Commenting on the awards, Abellio Greater Anglia Managing Director Ruud Haket said :
"I am delighted that our proactive cycle strategy and upgrades have received such significant recognition at this year's National Cycle Rail awards. To win three Cycle Rail awards in one year is quite an achievement. They provide a fitting tribute to the impressive efforts of many in our team who have been involved in developing, delivering and launching our substantial programme of cycle enhancements. At the start of our short franchise we made a real commitment to a customer-focused cycle-rail strategy. We have fulfilled those promises and gone beyond them. We are now focused on providing further cycle-rail improvements including more cycle parking, the planned 3000 space cycle point at Cambridge and a new Abellio Greater Anglia Cycle Forum, to ensure that we continue to make it easier for people across our region to use the sustainable bike and train combination for their journeys."